Mercedes-Benz describes the mid-life facelift of the current generation E-Class as an ‘extensive update’, and we have no reason to doubt that. If anything, the styling makeover looks more like a full model change as Mercedes designers wielded their modelling tools over the safe-looking but still strong-selling W213 E-Class, which chalked up sales of 1.2 million units globally since its debut in 2016.
Somehow, the Mercedes designers managed to unlock the latent beauty of the E-Class and given it its just rewards. It’s particularly obvious from the rear where vertically stacked tail-lamps make way for a split, two-piece LED item joined by a tasteful chrome strip on the new boot lid. The bumper is new as well, and the end-product looks far more elegant than before.
The change at the front is perhaps less outstanding compared to the refresh at the back of the E-Class, what Mercedes-Benz has gone for is a more dynamic look with the sporty Avantgarde Line being the base trim with redesigned headlamps, grille and front bumper. It’s a cleaner, more cohesive-looking face that’s in line with the new design language which debuted in the CLS.
Mercedes didn’t stop at the exterior as the cabin and the rest of the mid-size executive saloon have also been updated with a raft of new technology, particularly in the area of electrification. The E-Class range will get seven plug-in variants (over saloon and estate body styles, petrol and diesel), with the new 2.0-litre M254 four-cylinder engine to come with an Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG) and 48-volt on-board electrical system with a rated output of 268hp plus 20hp of electrical boost when available.
The high rate of advancement in the area of driver assistance sees the E-Class gaining a new steering wheel with capacitive hands-off detection, Active Distance Assist (as part of Distronic), Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Active Brake Assist with cornering function, Active Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist and an cleverer Park Assist functions.
Like other newer Mercedes models, the facelifted E-Class is similarly equipped with the latest execution of the MBUX interface featuring voice command, interior assistant, remote access and augmented reality.
2020 Mercedes-Benz E Class gallery